People, Principles and Practice
August 29, 2017
Sports – Hot in pursuit of a professional dream
August 29, 2017

Pointing our youth in the right direction                                                                                            

Vintage wood

He was quite content and happy with his family: a devoted wife and a beautiful eight-year-old daughter. Then one day the wife was murdered as she returned home from running errands. He decided that the society was too dangerous, so he retreated with his daughter to an underground bunker which his father had built years ago as a sanctuary in case of any disaster. There he hoped to protect her from the ills of society.

Curiosity about the outside world when she became a teenager caused her to sneak out at nights when the father went to work, and soon she was visiting bars, drinking and bringing young men back to the bunker where she indulged in sexual activities. Then, in a jealous rage one young man killed another, her father was arrested for the murder and she was placed in police custody.

As the story unfolded, the father’s innocence was proven, and he admitted that his reasoning about the daughter’s protection was flawed and after reuniting with her, he decided to take her to the town where her mother was from, where there were family members still residing, so she would have the opportunity to put the past behind her and move on with her life.

Happy ending? It was an episode of CSI. But the reality is that many parents wish they too could protect their offspring from a vicious and violent society by hiding them away or by limiting their interaction with members of the society. This we know is not possible and would not solve the problems, so the question is, what is the alternative?

In the midst of my pondering, great news from our T&T track athletes. The 4 x 400 men’s relay team won the gold medal in London! Over and over the clips of that magnificent win were shown on the television and on Facebook.

The nation, sports enthusiasts and those who simply hop on board when there is a winner alike, were in a state of euphoria. The victory brought joy and happiness to the nation. There were celebrations everywhere! In my mind, however, this victory showed an alternative for our young people.

While conversing with one of my friends who is involved with young people in the field of sports, he impressed upon me the positives which can come about through sports. He would often say, “You know how many young men I am keeping off the streets through my football club?” The reality is that it takes hard work and determination, support and encouragement from parents, relatives and friends.

There are so many “former” athletes in the field of sports; football, cricket, track and field, who though no longer in the competitive field, but whose experience and expertise would go a long way in setting up clubs or organisations where they could recognise talent and potential among the young people in our communities. Are they thinking along those lines? So much could be achieved in pointing our youth in the right direction, enabling them to embrace the positives in doing something they love. Come on board, help our youth, they have great potential.

Listening to the many stories about their struggles as they fought to remain focused and overcome the adversities such as domestic situations, lack of training facilities, transportation, accommodation, financial woes….the list was endless.

I applaud their determination to succeed in spite of the negatives and I tip my hat to those who assisted in various ways to ensure the end result. Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, take note.